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Public-images-osm logo.svg brand
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the identity of a specific product, service, or business. Often trademarks Edit or translate this description.
Group: Properties
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Status: de facto


The brand=* tag is used to describe either the principle brand of goods or services that are sold in an outlet (notably petrol/gas stations amenity=fuel and new car salesrooms shop=car, or represents a common identity for individually owned-and-operated stores (usually convenience stores shop=convenience, but the Intersport brand is common in Europe on shop=sports).

Typically this tag is used where the name of the brand is more recognisable (and therefore of more interest to data users) than the name of the outlet.

Distinguishing between Brand, Name, Operator, etc.

brand=* allows data users to identify where a well-known brand of goods are sold. It is normally used for outlets that are dedicated to a single brand of goods, or outlets which share a fascia identify. It is of most value where the name of the outlet is less well-known than the brand itself. Often the brand name will dominate signage making this the strongest visual element.

Typical examples include motor traders who sell a particular brand of vehicle, or petrol stations dedicated to a particular brand of fuel. In these cases, name=* would be used for the name of the outlet, and brand=* for the brand of the goods.

As the name tag is much older than competing tags and is supported by almost any application, it is still common that brand names get added only into the name tag, where the individual store name or the business name is not known or is identical. This situation may occur with large fast-food chains, where the outlet and the goods share the same name. Here there might be little value in adding brand=* as well as name=*, but this is for the data contributor to decide.

Globally operating brands are usually operating through businesses registered in the local jurisdiction or distributing under sophisticated franchising arrangements, where the name of the company which operates the facility is different from the name of the outlet and the brand under which they are trading. Where contributors feel it is necessary to make this distinction, then different values can be supplied for name=*, brand=* and operator=*. Examples include many fast-food amenity=fast_food outlets in chains such as Dominos, KFC, McDonald's, Burger King and Subway but also companies like Apple.

Depending on a particular brand's branding practices, name=* may consist of brand=* and branch=* in some order.

Buying Group Brands

Buying Groups (or Symbol Groups) represent organisations which buy goods in bulk on the behalf of their members. They often provide a distinct identity both for shops and for some products. Historically, these were often co-operative enterprises, but more recently many are now owned by major wholesalers. Examples, mainly from the convenience store sector (and with a British bias): SPAR, Premier (owned by Booker), Londis, Happy Shopper.


Name, brand and operator may differ:

Example Hotel

  • tourism=hotel
  • brand=Sheepy Suites
  • name=Sheepy Suites at Longmeadow (the name as it appears on signs; official_name=* can be used if the name filed with government regulators, for example, is different)
    • In some cases, the name and the brand will be the same.
  • ref=844 (this would be Sheepy Suites location #844)
  • operator=Black Mutton Enterprises (the local franchisee that operates the individual hotel)

Name and brand may differ:

Example gas station

  • (name=Tankstelle an der Eisenbahnbrücke Only if the specific gas station has an individual name)

Often several brands offered :

Example motorcycle shop

In case of several brands use a semicolon as separator (without space).


Note that operator=* is often used for the brand, but this is technically wrong unless the parent corporation operates the individual locations. For example, McDonald's fast food chain is a global franchise with many operators (franchisees), so McDonald's would be specified as the brand rather than the operator.

See also